Located at the hotel’s fourth floor with floor-to-ceiling views of Singapore’s majestic Marina Bay, MO BAR is a sophisticated bar that has earned its place as one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars, thanks to its Volume Two menu of cocktails. After a year, it was time to launch the next menu as a continuation of the journey seen in the first two volumes.
While the cocktail inspiration of Volume Two came from the team’s travels around the world since the bar opened. With the pandemic, Volume Three had to find creative ways to embark in a virtual trip and translate the inspiration from the rest of the region into concoctions that will still make guests explore the history and culture of the chosen destinations across the Asia Pacific in their drinks.
About the menu at MO BAR at Mandarin Oriental
You must be wondering why is the menu named in such a way like an encyclopedia? The concept is an evolution of the “Nomadic Foragers” guest shift programme that took the team across Asia Pacific in 2019, 2020, bringing a line-up of virtual exchanges with renowned venues such as Vesper in Bangkok, Alice Cheongdam from Seoul, The Curator in Manila, New Delhi’s Sidecar and more.
Each drink draws inspiration from the team’s time spent with one of these regional partners, integrating unique flavours, ingredients and techniques from their home country.
Following the format of previous menus, an illustrated star map introduces the collection of cocktails, with symbols indicating the strength of each drink as well as its serving style so guests can get a preview of what they’ll receive.
MO BAR’s New Cocktail Menu: Volume Three
The first four drinks offer a non-alcoholic option, also presented with an add-on spirit available upon request.
Drink in the flavours of Singapore with the Thunder (S$12), a thunder tea rice-inspired beverage integrating rice and herbs served in a locally made ceramic mug, add a measure of Singaporean gin for an additional layer of complexity and spirit (S$22 with gin).
Travel to more exotic locales with the New Delhi-inspired Soma (S$14 / S$24 with gin), a clarified drink with yoghurt, chutney and spices, which really does taste like chutney (crazy!), or Seoul’s White Rabbit (S$14 / S$24 with tequila) with tomato, kimchi and black garlic, if you fancy an elevated version of a bloody mary! Finally, Ho Chi Minh City’s Gao (S$12 / S$22 with gin), my favourite of the four, with flavours of calamansi, juniper and jasmine are quite smooth and easy to drink even with the gin.
Going a bit stronger, yet refreshing find the light and clean Chamoe (S$24), inspired by a collaboration with partners in Seoul with an infusion of vodka, melon and citron. Eat the little crisp first, then the melon and sip away!
My favourite drink of the whole menu, the Pastel de Ramos (S$24), made with fresh lemon juice, cream, eggwhite, homemade custard syrup, croissant “fatwashed” cognac and soda water. It is hand blended, shaken with ice before the addition of soda water to achieve a soufflé effect.
Because I like creamy drinks and cognac, I really love that drink for its smoothness and how easy it is to drink. The Pastel de Ramos is actually a twist on a classic cocktail called the Ramos gin fizz, which the team blended cognac with croissant then freeze it overnight. Once done, the cognac is strained via fatwash method.
Then, my second favourite drink on the menu (we have yet arrived to my number one), find the indulgent Taipei-inspired Milkyway (S$24) with whiskey, oolong and brown sugar, garnished with boba. But wait, not any boba, there’s whisky infused in it!
On my top three list of the menu, the Sarimonak (S$24) also have hit the spot for me with a blend of flavours of Lanao with rum, mango and citrus.
For those that fancy a strong drink, go for the Jakarta with the Moka (S$24), a decadent blend of rum, chocolate and banana.
Bar Snacks at the MO BAR, Mandarin Oriental Singapore
Best to have some snacks when you have something to drink, but don’t you worry, there is a great selection of bar snacks, larger specialities and sandwiches to pair perfectly with the cocktails.
Our favourite on the list is the Gyu-Katsu Sando (S$32) with breaded Wagyu beef and bulldog sauce, followed by the Singdog (S$24), an elevated hot dog with charred chicken sausage, achar, sambal mayo, scallions and dry shrimp. For vegetarians, grab some Rice Rolls (S$16) featuring vegetables in Vietnamese rice paper with sweet chilli sauce or Tater Tots (S$16) with curry mayo or the plant-based variation of the MO BAR Burger (S$32) with an Impossible Burger patty accompanied by cheddar and lettuce and a side of potato wedges.
MO BAR is located at Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797. Open Sunday-Thursday 11AM–1AM, Friday-Saturday 11AM–2AM. (During the pandemic, the bar ends alcoholic beverages at 10PM to clear tables at 10:30PM) Reservations can be made by emailing [email protected] or calling +65 6885 3500.
While in a world pandemic, avid-travellers like you must find some time to pass by MO BAR at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore to immerse yourselves in the stories, flavours and colours of Asia from Bar Manager Adrian Besa. Adrian always finds inspiration from the region’s best producers, farmers and bartenders to create unique cocktails. You will embark on a journey for sure… see you there soon?